For this activity we focused on the Becta publication Harnessing Technology: Next Generation Learning 2008–14 which follows on from their previous publication Harnessing Technology: Transforming Learning and Children’s Services. Part of the reason for this follow up publication was the formation of the Department for Children, Schools and Families(DCSF) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), however DIUS was short lived and was incorporated into the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). There has since been another document Next Generation Learning The implementation plan for 2009–2012.
Although there are benefits to having organisations like becta working with and advising government departments, the continually changing structure of government limit the value of their predictions and long term plans. This is particularly true at the moment when there is likely to be a change of government shortly.
The publication does identify the potential technology has for closing the gap for learners from disadvantaged backgrounds, with special educational needs and learners who are unable to attend in person. These are key areas where elearning can help. Unlike many other publications it does not assume that access to computers and the internet is universal. It also highlights the 14-19 diplomas and how technology can help younger learners working from a number of locations.